(BPT) – If you’ve heard of ghee, you might know of its recent, growing popularity as part of many wellness habits this time of year. Or, perhaps from its roots in the Ayurvedic health approach, which originated over 3,000 years ago and is still in use today.
But what is ghee? How do you use it, and what are its possible benefits?
Here are facts about ghee that may just make you interested in trying it yourself, or turn it into your new pantry staple.
1. Ghee is lactose free
Ghee is originally derived from dairy, and is essentially butter that has been clarified — meaning it’s cooked giving it added depth of flavor and richness.
For example, Organic Valley Ghee starts as organic butter made from pasture-raised milk, containing more omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than conventional milk, but with no antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides or GMOs. It is slowly simmered to remove excess water. During the simmering process, lactose and milk solids caramelize slightly, imparting a nutty flavor to the oil. Then the lactose and milk solids are filtered out, so ghee can be used by people who are lactose intolerant.
2. Ghee works in many wellness plans
From a nutritional perspective, ghee has no casein (a protein found in milk and other dairy products), no lactose, no salt. Because the lactose and milk solids are removed, ghee is accepted as part of many wellness plans, including Keto, Whole 30, Paleo and Ayurvedic. So if you’re looking to replace other cooking oils and fats, ghee is a great option. And, it’s a good way to add omega-3 to your day.
3. You can use ghee just like butter or your favorite oil
It might be surprising, but you can use ghee just as you would butter or any other cooking oil. You can cook and bake savory or sweet dishes, and you can even spread it on bread. Ghee tastes great on popcorn, or use to turn your favorite tea into a tea latte.
However, unlike butter, ghee does not need refrigeration. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for optimal flavor and a long shelf-life.
4. Enjoy high-heat cooking? Ghee is the perfect choice
More highly refined fats like ghee have a higher smoke point, as the process of making it removes impurities that can cause it to smoke during the cooking process. Ghee’s high smoke point means it works well with stir fry, high heat sauteing, roasting or baking. If you use oil with a low smoke point when cooking at high heat, you may be adding a burnt flavor to your food — and reducing some beneficial nutrients of the oil you’re using.
Ghee adds depth and richness to foods, providing hints of sweetness and roasted nuts to your favorite dishes.
5. Ghee creates delicious recipes
Try this tasty and comforting winter drink, then sign up to receive a free e-book with more recipes using Organic Valley Ghee.
1 teaspoon Organic Valley Ghee
2 cups whole or 2% milk
4 teaspoons grated fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Pinch black pepper
Honey or other sweetener (optional)
Place ghee in small saucepan over medium heat
Once ghee is melted, add milk and stir gently until combined
Add turmeric, ginger and black pepper.
Continue stirring until mixture is warm, but not boiling.
Remove from heat, add honey or sweetener of choice to taste, and enjoy!
Looking for ghee?
Find organic ghee with cooking oils, in the natural foods section or in the butter fridge. Find Organic Valley Ghee at retailers nationwide or online, click here to find ghee in your area.